Technology Companies Help Make a Needed Connection

Technology Companies Help Make a Needed Connection
Posted on 09/25/2020
One person handing mobile hotspots to another person.

In order to keep the learning going for all students and bridge the digital divide, Comcast, Sprint, and T-Mobile have pitched in to help do their part to ensure students are connected.

Mobile carrier Sprint is providing unlimited data for 60 days to customers with metered data plans, giving 20 GB of free mobile hotspot to customers with hotspot-capable devices, and waiving per-minute toll charges for international long-distance calls from the U.S. to CDC-defined Level 3 countries.

The vast majority of customers on T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile plans already have unlimited talk, text, and data. T-Mobile Home Internet customers already have unlimited plans with no data caps or surcharges. The company has increased the data allowance at no extra charge, to schools and students using its EmpowerED digital learning program to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month.

Comcast is providing its Internet Essentials package free for 60 days to new customers who apply and are approved by December 31, 2020. Families in the community who are in need of internet service to participate in distance learning can take advantage of the offer. To sign up for this service, customers can go to www.internetessentials.com.

Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots in business and outdoor locations across the country will be available for free to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, customers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.

Thanks to a $120,000 investment from the Quantum Foundation, United Way of Palm Beach, and Town of Palm Beach United Way, the District was able to purchase 450 Sprint hotspots for students in the Glades. An additional 5,000 T-Mobile hotspots were also purchased to benefit students District-wide.

Millions of dollars has been spent to upgrade networks, fund the purchase of Smart panel TVs, and filtering software to prevent hacking activity during virtual learning.

Tech industry titan Google recognized the School District of Palm Beach County as a recipient in the Google for Education Reference District Program. The honor acknowledges that the District is doing exemplary work using Google tools, joining a select group of innovative districts and independent schools.

The District continues to support the Teaching with Technology Trailblazer program along with training on device management, digital citizenship, curriculum integration, and blended learning strategies. There are 2,400 Teaching with Technology Trailblazers in the School District, representing 20% of teachers.

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